Cast: Vishnu Vishal, Gautham Menon, Manjima Mohan, Raiza Wilson, Reba Monica John, Amaan, Maala Parvathi, RNR Manohar and others
Writer/Director: Manu Anand
Cinematography: Arul Vincent
Rating : 3.5 stars
Director Manu Anand’s ‘FIR’ is a bold, intense, engaging action thriller that keeps you hooked from start to finish. Not many would dare to touch a topic as sensitive as the one dealt in FIR and both director Manu Anand and producer Vishnu Vishal must be complimented just for attempting to narrate such a significant story.
The story revolves around Irfan Ahmed (Vishnu Vishal), a qualified chemical engineer looking for a good position befitting his qualifications even as he continues to work part time in a moderately-sized perfume factory that is owned by the father of a friend. Irfan’s world revolves around his mother Parveena Begum (Maala Parvathi), who is a police officer but who is suffering from diabetes.
Irfan tries hard to get a better job. Everytime he applies for a position, he is sidelined because of his religion. Nevertheless he keeps trying. At one point though, he gives up and decides to do full time, the job that he currently holds. The owner of the perfume factory is thrilled and makes him in-charge of procuring all the chemicals required for their perfumes. He also discloses that he has plans of expanding operations big time and suggests to Irfan that he go meet an individual called Dr Zazi, a Muslim evangelist for some funds to expand operations to the Middle East.
Little does Irfan know then that Dr Zazi is on the watch list of Indian intelligence agencies, who are desperate to identify and nab Abu Bakar Abdullah, an ISIS operative who is planning a series of bomb blasts in India. He heads to Coimbatore along with his friend, meets Dr Zazi, who agrees to fund them and leaves for Hyderabad to place an order for chemicals for his firm. However, unfortunately, at the airport two important developments occur that lead to security agencies believing Irfan is a terrorist. The poor man is taken into custody. What happens then is what FIR is all about.
The film is engaging right from the word go. The plot is neatly laid out and the manner in which the story is narrated keeps increasing the suspense factor.By half time, you are eager to see where the plot is heading and the director doesn’t disappoint with the intensity of the narration only increasing in the second half.
Vishnu Vishal seems to have invested not just money but time and effort into this project. The actor seems to have worked his heart out and it really shows on screen. Looking fit as a fiddle, Vishnu Vishal does complete justice to the role of Irfan. The action sequences work big time as do the emotional ones.
The film also has some brilliant performances coming in from Gautham Vasudev Menon, Raiza Wilson and Maala Parvathi who plays Vishnu’s mom . Gautham in particular is just spot on. He appears only in a limited number of scenes, but his performance has a telling effect on the whole film and enhances it by a considerable margin.
Raiza Wilson as Anisha Qureshi, a Muslim officer in the Intelligence agency, is on fire. Sharp, professional and determined, Raiza is brilliant all through the film and shows a side that we have never ever witnessed before. She completely owns the scenes she appears in and delivers a performance that is good enough to be declared her best so far.
Malayalam actress Maala Parvathi as Irfan’s mother is another big plus for the film. The composed manner in which her character stays for the most part despite facing difficult circumstances makes Parveena Begum stand out.
Ashwath’s music is mellifluous and has high retention value. Arul Vincent’s cinematography is perfect.
On the whole, ‘FIR’ is definitely worth a watch!